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July 19, 1992:
Statements by candidates Clinton and Gore on WTI

        

July 19, 1992
Weirton, West Virginia
First leg of their Presidential campaign bus tour following the Democratic Convention

Question:

...[ask] for your assistance to stop Waste Technologies Incorporated, the largest toxic waste incinerator in the world, being built 20 miles north of here on the Ohio River. Senator Gore you are a great asset to the ticket for your record on the environment...would you please help us, we have tried everything, we need you both now. Certainly the valley needs jobs, but we do not need this.

Senator Gore:

I'd like to say that I admired your fight, I'm familiar with exactly what you're fighting against, and I think that its important for us as a nation to learn from the struggle that you are now engaged in. I think you deserve help and I think our country deserves help with this garbage crisis which has led to the WTI controversy that you are dealing with here.

For the last 12 years as the solid waste crisis has mounted throughout this country, the Reagan/Bush/Quayle Administration has done nothing whatsoever to encourage recycling, in fact they have vetoed legislation to encourage and require greater levels of recycling. You remember when the garbage barge took that tour of the gulf of Mexico coming out of New York. Well at that time there were a lot of proposals to do something to save communities like this one from being next. And instead the Bush/Quayle Administration said no they don't want to encourage recycling, they just want to keep things the way they are. That's their answer for every question, "just keep things the way they are.

We now have a situation in the United States where, when you add the commercial waste to the household waste, we're producing per capita twice the body weight of every man woman, and child in this country in waste every single day. And so long as that continues, we are going to have struggles like the WTI struggle all over this country.

And the very idea of putting (WTI) in a flood plain you know its just unbelievable to me but the longer range larger answer to this question is to reduce the amount of garbage and waste we are producing, re- engineer our processes to be more efficient and recycle all of the waste that we possibly can so that we donít need these incinerators and these solid waste landfills.

I'll tell you this, a Clinton/Gore Administration is going to give you an environmental presidency to deal with these problems. We'll be on your side for a change instead of the side of the garbage generators the way they have been.

Governor Clinton:

I'd like to add just one further comment. We are not in power now, you haven't elected us yet and I wish that we could do more, but one of the things we ought to make sure we do is stiffen the regulations on the siting of these incinerators. I mean the federal government should not permit permitting of incinerators where you are going to have on-site storage of garbage in a flood plain...that should not be done. [You ought to have some jurisdiction at the state level about how close they get to schools and other things which are really troubling], but that's a national issue and we should not be doing that. And when we're in office we will have real meaningful national standards about the permitting of these sort of incinerators.